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Sweetwater Valley to close Farragut store Friday


Sweetwater Valley Cheese Shop employees found their new year starting off with a search for new employment.

Assistant Farragut store manager Karen Denham said corporate operations manager Kent Goforth let the staff know last week the N. Campbell Station Road store would be closing permanently Friday, Jan. 12, leaving Farragut residents and employees wondering why.

“He didn’t really give us a reason,” Denham said. “He just said management had decided to close the store.”

She said store employees weren’t offered relocation possibilities to the company’s Ringgold, Ga., location or the corporate farm in Philadelphia.

“I think it’s a shame,” said Angela Domer, a Knoxville resident and store customer. “They have some great things here you can’t really get any place else.”

Denham said the store opened in October 2003 and recently celebrated its third anniversary.

Owner John Harrison said the company had posed tougher expectations of its retail outlets and the Farragut store was having a tough time meeting those expectations.

“We felt the store had matured and it wasn’t meeting our financial goals,” he said. “There were also some issues with signage in Farragut and things like that.”

He said arrangements would be in the works for three of the four regular store employees, but one would be leaving.

“There’s still the different shows we participate in and there will be an opportunity for these folks there,” he said.

Sweetwater Valley Cheese Shop has been active in the Farragut community, including its participation in Festival on the Green, for the past couple of years.

Sherry Schrock, store manager for Sweetwater Valley Cheese Shop in Farragut, said this past year was the second year she set up as a vendor for Festival on the Green.

“Being out here last year was very profitable,” she said. “It helped to get our name out to the community.”

Schrock said in the past she and her employees attend about 20 shows per year to get the word out about their business and all it has to offer.

 

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